Another stride of the grim specter, and cornmeal is selling for $17 per bushel. Coal at $20.50 per ton, and wood at $30 per cord. And at these prices one has to wait several days to get either. Common tallow candles are selling at $4 per pound. I see that some furnished houses are now advertised for rent; and, I hope that all the population that can get away, and subsist elsewhere, will leave the city.
The lower house of Congress has passed a most enormous tax bill, which I apprehend cannot be enforced, if it becomes a law. It will close half the shops — but that may be beneficial, as thousands have rushed into trade and become extortioners.
I see some batteries of light artillery going toward Petersburg. This is to be used against the enemy when he advances in that direction from Suffolk. No doubt another attempt will be made to capture Richmond. But Lee knows the programme, I doubt not.
SOURCE: John Beauchamp Jones, A Rebel War Clerk's Diary at the Confederate States Capital, Volume 1, p. 283